Convict ships to sail again?

Posted: December 30, 2010 in Law & Disorder

This item, from the Australian Daily Telegraph, was sent in by a blog reader.

IlieDozens of Australians locked up in British jails could be sent home to serve out the rest of their sentences. At least 33 criminals are likely to be sent home as the British Government tries to cut the cost of running its jails by clearing out foreigners.

Taxpayers in England and Wales currently fork out more than $2 million a year to house our crooked exports.

Each criminal runs up a bill of $62,000 a year. This is a fraction of the $690 million their 11,135 foreign inmates cost them annually. The British Government is trying to get as many convicts on the plane as possible.

Last month, the UK Border Agency tripled the cash incentives to foreign prisoners to get them to leave.

Currently, foreign national prisoners cannot be booted out without their permission.

But British Prime Minister David Cameron is reportedly keen to rip up these agreements so that inmates can be sent back whether they like it or not, although human rights will be taken into account.The measures, which are part of plans to cut the prison population by 3000 by 2014/15, were splashed across the front page of the British press.

Australian Jack William Brown, 20, is one of the Australians likely to be sent home from the UK.

Brown was sentenced to 14 months in a young offenders’ institute in September after he and an American friend poured rum over their sleeping friend then set him alight.

He was left scarred for life by the prank.A UK Ministry of Justice spokesman told The Sunday Telegraph: “The Government believes wherever possible foreign national prisoners should serve their sentences in their own country.

“It is right that those who enter the UK and abuse our hospitality should face the full weight of the law, and where necessary go to prison.

“Those foreign national offenders who have no right to remain in the United Kingdom will be removed at the earliest opportunity.”

Foreign prisoners in Australian jails are very rarely deported mid-sentence, although most are kicked out of the country on release.

NSW Corrective Services said it handed over about 58 foreign nationals to the Department of Immigration for deportation in 2009/10.

Australian prisoners serving sentences in England and Wales will now receive almost $2500 if they agree to leave the UK, up from $812.

UK Border Agency chief executive Lin Homer said the new approach was “a practical solution that . . . means foreign criminals are removed as soon as possible, denying them the opportunity to reoffend or drag out the removal process with frivolous judicial challenges”.

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